“This is the last show of the tour, we’re going home tomorrow,” 65daysofstatic’s guitarist Joe Shrewsbury told the crowd at Yugong on Sunday night. But this wasn’t an excuse for the band to give anything less than their usual intense energetic live show. After a disappointing night in Shanghai with only 300 people and some sound issues, they seemed to want to end their Australia/Asia tour on a high.
The band’s latest album ‘We Were Exploding Anyway‘ has seen them move even further away from the post rock tag they gained starting out as an instrumental band nearly 10 years ago. If you had to give their sound a name it would probably be something like instrumental-electro-dance, much more in the vein of The Prodigy or Pendulum, than Mogwai or Mono. ‘Piano Fights’, probably my favourite track from the new album, is really the only one that holds onto their post rock roots.
There was no opening act, and looking at the stage set up you could see why, there was barely room for another band amongst all the instruments, keyboards, laptops, extra drums … another sign the band are focussing more on the electronic side of their music. Frank the roadie was on stage almost enough to be part of the band, constantly swapping guitars, checking amps etc, and even joined the band on guitar for one song.
By the time they got to the middle of the set and 3 songs from the new album, ‘Crash Tactics’, ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ and ‘Weak4′, they had the crowd dancing euphorically, it was hard to tell who was feeding off who’s energy, on stage the band could barely stand still, dancing and playing with so much intensity.
Coming from a show just over a week ago in Melbourne during a heat wave that cancelled most other events in the city and now being in Beijing’s subzero temperatures combined with apocalyptic pollution, obviously must take a physical toll on a band, and hardcore fans would have noticed the odd missed note or mistake, but their energy on stage more than made up for it.
Praise needs to be given to the sound guys as well, dealing with the multiple instruments, laptops and samples used to create such a complex sound can’t be easy, and Yugong’s sound system doesn’t always help with that. Apart from a little muddiness of the opening tracks the sound was pretty good, though possibly a little too loud at times.
Those of us who risked our health to head out to Yugong were rewarded with one hell of a performance, a great way to start the New Year! If you weren’t brave enough to don your mask and head out, here’s a taste of what you missed.